Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday and Did You Know.....

Malagasy people in Madagascar celebrate a tradition called Famadihana or the turning of the bones. In this ritual, people dig up their relatives and bring them to this celebration where the bodies, or bones for that matter, are re-wrapped in fresh cloth. After the re-wrapping, the family members that are alive, um yeah duh, dance with the corpses, or the bones for that matter, around the tombs to live music.

~*The sorting of the bones from the old cloth and the re-wrapping in the new cloth.*~

Famadihana is still practiced in present day and only happens once every seven years. The Malagasy people believe that this custom joins the spirits join the world of the ancestors after it's completely decomposed and after the appropriate ceremonies take place. This may take several years.

~*Family reunion, I mean the celebration*~

Even though this is still in practice, it is on the decline due to the price of silk shrouds and well yeah some of the Christian organizations are not very fond of digging up dead people and dancing with them at their grave site. Party poopers is what I say! I guess the Catholics finally came around and was all, "yeah it's cool since it's all cultural and not really regligiony and stuff." All the Malagasy people want to do is respect their dead and it's a great way to get everyone to come to the family reunion.

Oh yeah, and that old shroud that the dead bodies, or the bones for that matter, were wrapped in? It is given to a newly wed couple that doesn't have any kids yet. It is used to cover the marriage bed. I mean nothing says sex like having it on some dead persons shroud.

I am here to just enlighten and provide information into other things. Though I poked fun at this, I do not mean to demean or belittle anyone's customs or beliefs.


Canadianbloggergirl said...

Umm Ewe!

Glad I'm Canadian!


Anonymous said...

You always have to wonder where these people come up with their customs from!

Just Plain Tired said...

I'd imagine the honeymoon ardor is subdued with this practice/custom. :)

forestwalk/laura k said...

hmmmm...the problem for me would be that i'd want to decorate those bones!

uh, decorate auntie's scapula...and hang it on the wall???? i doubt that would go over real good...

THANKS!! that was interesting!!

crazy ramblings of a tired mom said...

Yeah I have to agree with Canadian Blogger Girl, EEEEEWWWWW (gagging sounds)

Anonymous said...

creeps me out.

Damn The Broccoli said...

That's not far different from Día de los Muertos in Mexico.

In fact there are many strange (by those who judge) customs with dealing with the dead round the world from throwing an empty corpse out in the jungle as the spirit has passed on and the flesh has no worth, to building an ossary out of human bones to the srange custom of spending thousands of dollars on an ornate box made from some exotic tree that jsut gets stuck in the ground. There are mummies to be found in many countries.

The strangest thing about death to me is our attitude to it though.

I have my funeral all planned and those who need to know have the plans. I tell you I would sure love to be there for that shindig.

BeMistified said...

CBG: Awww come on don’t knock it until you try it!

Nicole: I know, I mean who sits down and says “We need to do this with our dead ancestors?”

JPT: I am just not sure about laying the shroud on my marriage bed.

Laura: There may be some cultures that just may do that!

CRofTM: And just as I advised CBG, don’t knock it until you try it! =D

Eemah: That is completely expected. =)

Broccoli: Different customs with and towards death fascinate me, that is why I chose to share them. I have always wanted to be someone who dealt with death, whether it be a Mortician, CSI or Forensic Pathologist. I chose the Mortician route at this point. CSI became too popular and too much school for the Pathologist dealio. It is a good thing to have the plans outlined for what happens when one dies. It makes it so much easier! =)

Anonymous said...

I actually took part in one of these when I lived in Madagascar. I was pretty ethnocentric back in the day and only afterward did I fully appreciate the celebration and grasp the larger significance and role it played in their collective conscious. Glad I was so lucky and certainly will never forget it.